Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said during a meeting in Novorossiysk on September 23 that the majority of Russian ports could not handle large-tonnage vessels requiring approach depths of 20-22 meters.

"Today, unfortunately, our ports cannot provide such a service. We do not have such a deep-water ports and terminals, with the exception of, maybe, Vostochny in the Far East, Primorsk in the Baltic region, and here in Novorossiysk – the Sheskharis terminal and Ust-Luga. However, in any case, the Baltic region is limited by the depth of the Danish straits... At the same time, even our closest competitor ports in Ukraine - Odessa, Ilyichevsk, and Yuzhny - reach depths of 20 and 21 meters. This, of course, allows them to receive large vessels of the Panamax and Capesize classes, in particular,” Sokolov is quoted as saying in the minutes of the meeting.

According to him, this reduces the competitiveness of Russian ports compared with ports in Southeast Asia and South America. He added that the transshipment capacity of the Azov-Black Sea basin is not increasing and that Ukrainian ports continue to process 20-30 million.